16 Self tanners that will give you a natural-looking, sunkissed glow

Self-tanners have come a long way in the past decade, though, and thankfully today’s innovations look (and smell) infinitely better. The art of self-tanning can be a tricky one, so you need to be equipped with the best products and tools to make your faux glow as convincing as a real one—minus the dangerous UV damage.

Updated on May 19, 2022 12:08 PM IST  |  367.3K
16 Self tanners that will give you a natural-looking, sunkissed glow
16 Self tanners that will give you a natural-looking, sunkissed glow
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Traditionally, the process of tanning is time-consuming, takes commitment, requires patience, and runs the risk of turning you orange. But the best self tanners promise to develop fast, smell better, and keep your towels, sheets, and bathroom clean while giving you a realistic faux tan. Self-tanners have come a long way in the past decade, though, and thankfully today’s innovations look (and smell) infinitely better. The art of self-tanning can be a tricky one, so you need to be equipped with the best products and tools to make your faux glow as convincing as a real one minus the dangerous UV damage. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you and come up with a list of the best self tanners that ​​deliver a streak-free finish (with minimal smell), and leave your skin looking supple and glowy never unnaturally orange. 

Our top 7 self tanner picks: 

1. Beauty By Earth Self Tanning Lotion - Buy Now

2. Jergens Natural Glow Self Tanner - Buy Now 

3. KENMILER Face Self Tanner Tanning Drops - Buy Now 

4. Absolutely Natural - Sunless Self Tanning Lotion - Buy Now 

5. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse - Buy Now 

6. B.tan Self Tanner Mousse - Buy Now 

7. 7. Skinerals Self Tanner - Buy Now

In this article: 

1. What is a self tanner? 

2. 5 Benefits of self tanning 

3. How to correctly use a self tanner?

What is a self tanner? 

Sunless tanners typically contain DHA and moisturisers. DHA is a sugar that interacts with proteins in the skin to form brown pigments called melanoidins. This is how skin darkens after applying a sunless tanner. The popularity of sunless tanning has risen since the 1960s after health authorities confirmed links between UV exposure (from sunlight or tanning beds) and the incidence of skin cancer. The reaction of keratin protein present in skin and DHA is responsible for the production of pigmentation.

5 Benefits of self tanning: 

1. No risk of skin cancer 

It is no secret today that frequent sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer tenfold. By choosing spray tanning over baking in the sun, you can greatly reduce your risk. Keep in mind, a spray tan does not protect you from the UV rays, so you will need to wear sun protection daily, even while sporting that beautiful bronze skin.

2. No early ageing to worry about 

In addition to increasing your risk of skin cancer, regular exposure to UVA and UVB rays can age your skin before its time. Sun exposure can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation marks and the formation of rough leathery skin. The sun can even make skin lose its natural elasticity faster, which can cause loose, sagging skin around the cheeks and jawline.

3. Natural-looking tan 

Spray tanning produces an even coverage with much less risk of streaking. This process uses a fine mist of spray tan solution, which goes on more evenly than other types of sunless tanning products. In addition, modern technology prevents the orange glow of spray tans, ensuring your sunless tanning efforts result in natural colour no matter how dark you go.

4. Slimming effect 

A little colour on the skin provides an almost immediate slimming effect to your entire body. At the same time, tanning can reduce the appearance of concerns like scarring, blemishes and pigmentation marks. Even cellulite can become less visible with a little colour on your thighs and buttocks.

5. Fast and long-lasting results 

Results from self tanning tend to develop quickly, within a few short hours of your treatment. The results of spray tanning are faster than that obtained with lying out under the sun’s rays for hours on end. A self tanner typically lasts anywhere between five and 10 days, making this a good option for a special occasion. Regular treatments can keep your tan glowing all year long.

How to correctly use a self tanner? 

- Remove thick hair from places you want to tan 

Thick hair can get in the way of self-tanner when you're trying to apply it evenly. You might want to shave or wax your legs (and arms, if necessary) to ensure you'll be happy with the final appearance of your tan. 

- Exfoliate 

Use a washcloth to exfoliate the skin prior to applying a self-tanner. Using an exfoliating product also will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest, on the elbows, knees and ankles.

- Dry your skin 

Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.

- Apply in sections 

Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.

- Wash your hands after each section 

You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.

- Blend at your wrists and ankles 

For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.

- Apply it to your face and neck 

Apply the tanner sparingly on your face and neck because that skin will darken easily. Start by applying it to the places where you naturally tan: your forehead, the apples of your cheeks, your chin, and the bridge of your nose. Using a steady circular motion, smooth the tanning lotion outward to cover the rest of your face as well.

- Dilute over your joints 

Dilute the self-tanner on the knees, ankles and elbows, because these areas tend to absorb more self-tanner than the rest of the skin. To dilute, lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.

- Give your skin time to dry 

Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.

- Apply sunscreen everyday 

You still need to protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure that your sunscreen offers SPF 30 or higher, Broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB protection) and Water resistance. 

16 Best self tanners for a natural-looking glow: 

Scroll down and take a look at the best, most effective and safest self tanners that will give you a natural-looking, sunkissed glow. 

1. Beauty By Earth Self Tanning Lotion 

Picking the right colour of fake tan will ensure no orange colour on your skin. For fair or pale skin, use fair to medium. For olive skin or skin that tans easily, use medium to dark. You will be left with a natural glow. This self tanner is formulated with organic aloe vera, shea butter and many botanical extracts that benefit and hydrate your skin without dyes or toxins. This sunless tanning lotion was formulated for the body, however it can be used as a face tanner.

 

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Price: $28.79

Buy Now

2. Jergens Natural Glow Self Tanner 

Create a flawless, sun kissed fake tan with gradual, natural-looking colour while protecting against the sun for fair to medium skin tones. This lightweight natural glow moisturiser includes broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection that keeps your skin hydrated. With the blend of nutrients and skin-tone enhancers, expect a beautiful, natural-looking facial tan within a week. Try going makeup free in 7 days! This self-tanning daily moisturiser will keep you feeling fresh with a light and fresh scent. Simply use as your daily face lotion for long lasting moisture, smoothing on evenly to freshly cleansed face. 

 

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Price: $20.73

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3. KENMILER Face Self Tanner Tanning Drops 

These  illuminating self tanning drops is a clear concentrated facial self tanner made for the face and neck. However, It can also be used as a body tanner for your preference. It can be used in the morning or night, you’re good to GLOW whenever. More drops for more glow. It is designed for all skin tones and ultimate customization. Add drops to achieve a preferable natural looking tan for your unique skin tone. Depth of the colour increases with the number of drops applied. For fair or pale skin, use ‘medium tan’. For olive skin or skin that tans easily, use ‘deep glow’. Due to its super-fast drying property, these sunless tanning drops can create an immediate flawless long-lasting bronze tan effect. After one application, skin appears illuminated with golden sun-kissed glow. Over time, streaky-free tan makes your skin well rested with a healthy glow that will fade evenly with no blotches. It is hydrating, nourishing and beginner-friendly, having no unpleasant scent, no orange, no streaks, no breakouts. It locks in moisture and your sun-kissed tan for 5 to 8 days. It also helps perfect your skin by covering imperfections and giving an even and uniform tan appearance.

 

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Price: $14.99

Buy Now

4. Absolutely Natural - Sunless Self Tanning Lotion 

Get a natural looking tan quickly and safely using this self tanner without being in the sun or damaging your skin. Made from all-natural DHA, this formula is the ideal alternative to chemical DHA formulas for a safe and tested tanning solution. Be sure to shower, exfoliate, and dry completely before applying for the best results. Tip, let the bathroom clear of moisture before applying. Use a small amount around your joints and the smallest amount around your face and neck as these darken the quickest. Be sure to scrub hands and nails throughout. 

 

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Price: $18

Buy Now

5. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse 

This self tanning mousse will give you the most iconic, fool proof and natural-looking tan. This beautifully golden tinted tanning mousse is easy-to-apply, streak-free and adapts to your skin tone for up to 10 day wear with no self tan smell. The multi award-winning foam formula is lightweight, non-sticky and infused with hydrating Jojoba and skin care actives to prolong your tan for up to 10 days with even fade. It seamlessly blends and you just have wait for your results to develop over 4-8 hours, so you can glow with confidence all week. Best for first time tanners or trusted results time and time again.

 

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Price: $32

Buy Now

6. B.tan Self Tanner Mousse 

This is a darker mega hydrating tanning treatment, juiced up with niacinamide + peptides for glowing, healthier looking skin. It will leave you with darker tan results along with moisturised, smooth skin. Say “goodbye” to dull, dry, pale skin and “hello” to luscious, bronzed, delicious looking skin. Niacinamide helps to minimise pores, improve uneven skin tone and soften fine lines, while peptides help ease inflammation and improve skin elasticity. It is made from naturally derived ingredients that are vegan friendly, cruelty free and lovingly bottled up in recycled and recyclable materials. It is sustainably sourced with recyclable materials.

 

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Price: $16.99

Buy Now

7. Skinerals Self Tanner 

This green-based solution counteracts the fake orange tan look that can often be an issue with other self tanners. Apply at night and shower in the morning to achieve a natural, gorgeous glow without streaks or blotches. It is perfect for lighter skin tones, and is the best way to get a healthy, natural glow for up to 7 days without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays that can cause premature wrinkles and skin cancer. It contains as many natural and organic ingredients as possible for the safest tan possible. It is ideal for both the face and body. There is no need to purchase a second product for your face as this product is non-greasy, doesn't cause acne, and can be applied under makeup. This self tanner contains antioxidants such as acai berry and fig extracts to help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes and stretch marks. These ingredients combined with avoidance of sun damage will keep your skin looking youthful. 

 

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Price: $29.99

Buy Now

8. Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Self Tanning Lotion 

Create a flawless light bronze tan with gradual, natural-looking colour while nourishing and hydrating dry and extra dry skin. This natural glow and firming moisturiser will gradually enhance and deepen your natural skin tone to provide a hassle-free and streak-free colour. Infused with collagen, elastin, and green tea infusions, this fast-acting, anti cellulite formula will help reduce cellulite appearance within 7 days. Infused with antioxidants and Coconut Water, this is a hydrating blend of nutrients that boosts moisturisation for healthier looking skin and daily skin hydration. It will keep you feeling fresh with a light and fresh scent.

 

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Price: $8.44

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9. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse

This 100 percent natural DHA self-tan body treatment has full skin care benefits. It transforms your skin without any of those nasty streaks or blotches for a beautiful natural looking, golden glow with no orangey tones. This lightweight mousse delivers an instant bronze glow that is fast drying and develops in just 2 hours to a long-lasting tan. Infused with raw virgin coconuts, botanicals and amino acids, it hydrates, blurs pigmentation and stretch marks to perfect your skin. It is created using a unique Cellushape technology enriched with powerful natural antioxidants like fig, banana, papaya and cocoa to improve signs of ageing. It has a tropical mango and guava fragrance that gives you the feel of an island escape. The lightweight, non-sticky formula has to be applied by hand in circular motions. Use only a small pump to apply the tan to tricky-to-tan areas like the feet, hands, face and ears. Shower in warm water after 2 hours and gently pat your skin dry. 

 

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Price: $34.80

Buy Now

10. L’Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mousse 

This lightweight bronzing self tanning water mousse instantly gives the skin a natural-looking tan with a sunkissed glow and an even finish. The ultra lightweight water mousse disappears into your skin for an easy to apply and streak-free quick drying tan. The formula is enriched with real coconut water and vitamin E that allows hydration for softer, smoother skin. The fresh fragrance smells of delicious coconut and leaves your skin smelling beachy. Enjoy a scent that truly says vacation. Allow 4 to 8 hours for colour to fully develop before showering. For a longer-lasting tan and sunkissed glow, apply three times over 12 to 24 hours. 

 

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Price: $11.84

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11. Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self-Tanning Lotion 

This lotion is made with natural, paraben-free ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and aloe to provide you with a smooth, streak free, natural tan that leaves your skin looking flawless and feeling refreshed. Say goodbye to the self tanners with smelly odours and harmful chemicals! No more fake baked orange skin! This sunless tanning product line requires no exposure to the sun or harmful UV rays from tanning beds allowing you to avoid any short term sunburns, long term damage or early skin ageing while giving a healthy, long lasting tan. Look like you just walked off the beach! Each shade of this sunless tanner sets quickly within three hours without the messy streaking or patchiness to gradually enhance your natural skin tone with an effortless, sun-kissed glow that lasts long and keeps skin looking bright and healthy. 

 

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Price: $44.10

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12. L’Oreal Paris Sublime Self Tan Drops 

This fragrance-free self-tanning product is made specifically for the face and neck, for all skin types. Gradually build your desired facial tan drop by drop. These facial Drops are non-sticky and mix perfectly with your moisturiser or serum (excluding AHA or Retinol serums) for an easy application. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid, a potent hydration-attracting molecule, it feels moisturising for an added hydration benefit. Immediately, the skin feels fresh, smooth and moisturised. After one application, skin appears illuminated with a golden sun-kissed glow. Over time, streak-free tan makes your skin look well rested with a healthy glow. For a lighter sun-kissed glow, add 5-7 drops to a dime size amount of moisturiser and for a deeper bronze glow, add 8-10 drops. 

 

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Price: $13.95

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13. Botanic Tree Self Tanner 

This plant-based, natural and organic self tanner, gives you an amazing bronzed complexion without exposure to UV Rays or harmful chemicals. When it comes to beauty products, this tanning lotion is a standout. This streak-free bronzer lotion will leave your skin perfectly tanned without turning it orange. For an easy and even application and beautiful bronzed tone, this sunless tanning lotion is the perfect solution. Simply apply a thin layer to clean, exfoliated skin, and stay moisturised for best results. It is fast-absorbing so you get a beautiful tan without staining your clothes or leaving dark spots on towels and sheets. In fact, you can put your clothes on immediately after applying this sunless tanner! It is rich in shea butter and 10 organic fruit extracts that leave your skin hydrated, refreshed and rejuvenated. Get two benefits in one from our self tanning lotion gorgeous colour and plump, hydrated skin.

 

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Price: $24.29

Buy Now

14. Skineral Onyx Self Tanner Mousse 

This green-based solution counteracts the fake orange tan look that can often be an issue with other self tanners. Apply it at night and shower in the morning to achieve a natural, gorgeous deep bronze glow without streaks or blotches. It is perfect for light, medium, or olive skin tones, and is the best way to get a healthy, natural extra dark tan for up to 7 days without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays that can cause premature wrinkles and skin cancer. It contains as many natural and organic ingredients as possible for the safest tan possible. It is ideal for both the face and body. There is no need to purchase a second product for your face as this product is non-greasy, doesn't cause acne, and can be applied under makeup. This self tanner contains antioxidants such as acai berry and fig extracts to help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes and stretch marks. These ingredients combined with avoidance of sun damage will keep your skin looking youthful. 

 

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Price: $29.99

Buy Now

15. JOAH Self Tanner 

Get a resort-ready tan with these skin-friendly, face and body self tanning drops. Simply mix them into your moisturiser for a customizable, sun-kissed glow that develops gradually over six hours. The more drops you use, the deeper your tan. Featuring moisturising plant-based squalene, antioxidant-rich vitamin E, hydrating jojoba oil, and glow-enhancing sunflower seed oil, it helps nourish skin as you tan. This vegan, cruelty-free formula contains no harmful ingredients. Use the Light/Medium shade if you are looking for a more subtle, sunkissed glaze. Use the Medium/Deep if you are looking for a deeper, more bronzed sundrenched tan.

 

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Price: $14.99

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16. MineTan Self Tanner Kits

This kit includes 2 coconut water self tan foams, an applicator mitt and an exfoliating mitt. The world’s first coconut water based tan is a bronzing treatment, supercharged with antioxidants to restore skin hydration and revitalise the skin. Bundle and save with everything you need for a one-of-a-kind bronzing treatment that's supercharged with antioxidants for an intensely hydrating, rich, super dark brown skin finish. Absorbs quickly, locks in moisture and improves overall skin texture and tone, making this 1 hour self tan work as a natural moisturiser. For an easy, streak-free application, apply to clean, exfoliated skin in circular motions using the Bronze On Applicator Mitt. Rinse in lukewarm water after 1-3 hours.

 

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Price: $39.95

Buy Now

Get ready to get glowing with these super effective, all natural, odourless and safe self tanners mentioned above. Sunless tanning is a much better and safer alternative to tanning beds and baking yourself under the sun. It is a great way to avoid risks of skin cancer and to prevent ageing of skin. So if you want that sexy, sunkissed glow - what are you waiting for? 

Disclaimer: The article contains sponsored links. The content is created by Pinkvilla.

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What self tanners do the Kardashians use?
Kim Kardashian: St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse

Do self tanners age your skin?
Self tanners are safer on your skin as compared to tanning beds and sunbathing.

How long does a self tanner last typically?
A self tanner typically lasts 4 to 5 days.

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